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Earth Science – Open Educational Resource

The book is revised every year, based on teachers’ feedback and new objectives on improving the book. The link provided here for download is directly from the source, Utah Education Network, so as the latest will always be provided.

Utah’s first OER project was science. USBE has been working with science for over several years. USBE would like to recognize the support of the Hewlett Foundation, the CK12 Foundation, and Brigham Young University in the development of these materials. Visit the Science Activities webpage to view all of the Online Interactive Activities that are included in each textbook.

These books as licensed CC-BY-NC.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1 ………………………………………………………………………………………… 11
1.1 How do we know what we know about the universe? …………………………………13
1.2 What fuels a star? ………………………………………………………………………………23
1.3 What is at the center of the universe? …………………………………………………….31
1.4 What are conditions like on the inner planets? ………………………………………….38
1.5 What are conditions like on the outer planets? ………………………………………….45
1.6 What other objects are in the solar system?………………………………………………52

CHAPTER 2 ………………………………………………………………………………………… 57
2.1 How does the internal structure of the earth affect temperature? ………………….59
2.2 What causes earthquakes and volcanoes? ……………………………………………….66
2.3 Does the movement of Earth’s plates affect all living things? ……………………….75

CHAPTER 3 ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 82
3.1 Is the Greenhouse Effect a good thing or a bad thing?……………………………….84
3.2 Why is it winter in the southern hemisphere and summer in the northern
hemisphere?………………………………………………………………………………………….88
3.3 What makes wind blow? ……………………………………………………………………..90
3.4 Why were winds important to early explorers? …………………………………………93
3.5 What is ozone and why are we concerned about the hole in the ozone layer? …95
3.6 What causes the change in the weather?…………………………………………………98
3.7 How do they forecast the weather? ……………………………………………………….103
3.8 What causes severe weather? ………………………………………………………………107
3.9 What are El Nino and La Nina? ……………………………………………………………..112
3.10 How has Earth’s climate changed? ……………………………………………………….115
3.11 What causes climate change? ……………………………………………………………..118
3.12 How does human activity affect the carbon cycle? …………………………………..122

CHAPTER 4 ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 128
4.1 Why can’t we drink most of the water on Earth?……………………………………….130
4.2 How do we use water? ……………………………………………………………………….135
4.3 What makes water unique? …………………………………………………………………139
4.4 What is a freshwater ecosystem?…………………………………………………………..142
4.5 Was there always water on earth? …………………………………………………………145
10
4.6 What causes water to move in the ocean? ………………………………………………149

CHAPTER 5 ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 156
5.1 How do Earth’s systems interact?…………………………………………………………..158
5.2 Do satellites help predict earthquakes? …………………………………………………..160
5.3 Will the next war be over water? …………………………………………………………..162
5.4 Will we run out of soil and water? …………………………………………………………166
5.5 Will we run out of sunlight?………………………………………………………………….169
5.6 What role do scientists play? ………………………………………………………………..172
5.7 Can we prevent natural hazards?……………………………………………………………175
5.8 Do humans contribute to natural disasters? ……………………………………………..182
5.9 Can we predict earthquakes? ………………………………………………………………..187

Sample from Earth Science – Open Educational Resource

1.1 How do we know what we know about the universe?
The study of the universe is called cosmology. Cosmologists study the structure and changes in the present universe. The universe contains all of the star systems, galaxies, gas and dust, and all the matter and energy that exist. The universe also includes all of space and time.

The part of the entire universe that we can see (because light from objects has had time to reach us) is called the observable universe. Evolution of Human Understanding of the Universe What did the ancient Greeks recognize as the universe? In their model, the universe contained Earth at the center, the Sun, the Moon, five planets, and a sphere to which all the stars were attached.

This idea held for many centuries until new ideas and better observing instruments allowed people to recognize that Earth is not the center of the universe. Galileo’s telescope revealed four moons orbiting Jupiter (not Earth), the phases of Venus, the mountains of the Moon, and many more stars than are visible to the naked eye. More importantly, Galileo’s experiments established the principle of inertia which countered the physical arguments the Greeks used against a rotating and moving Earth.

4th century BCE — Aristotle, building on the ideas of earlier astronomers, proposes that the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars revolve around a stationary Earth. This is known as the geocentric theory, meaning that the universe revolves around Earth. 2nd century AD — Ptolemy publishes a book that describes a mathematical procedure used to calculate future positions of the Sun, Moon, and visible planets in the sky. It reaffirms that all these objects move around a stationary Earth. To account for the retrograde motion of Mars, his system uses small circles (epicycles) revolving around larger circles (deferents).

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This Earth Science textbook is perfect for school or homeschool use, as a reference for projects, or as a class course book for teachers and students.

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